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1.1 Background to the Study
The deplorable state of public schools in Nigeria has given rise to the preference for private educational institutions in Nigeria. This preference has fuelled the establishment of private schools such that the educational sector in Nigeria has witnessed an increase in the number of academic institutions operating, from primary/elementary schools to universities. This is especially rife for private elementary schools given Nigeria’s population explosion and the improvement in the purchasing power of the middle class (Akpa, Udoh, & Fagbamiye, 2005). And even though the increase in demand for private elementary school education means more income for the proprietors, it comes with the expectation of better infrastructure, higher quality instruction, more excellent grades and more qualified (sometimes expatriate) teachers often touted by private schools in Nigeria (Oyibode, 2015).
The rate of pupil enrolment increases at a much lower rate when compared to the rate at which the private elementary schools are established. The result is that the supply of schools far outstrips the demand for pupil spaces and total available pupils are stretched out among the competing schools. This glut in schools enables a buyers’ market, breeds intense competition amongst schools and gives rise to dwindling enrolment figures (Yawe & Akighir, 2014). This proliferation of schools has also given rise to performance issues as teachers, lecturers and other employees that move from one institution to another create vacuums that cannot be quickly filled. Vacuum so created means that fewer teachers contend with the responsibilities of executing the curriculum.
Schools are differentiated by the scores obtained by their pupils in major foreign examinations. This becomes a major determining factor for parents and guardians in choosing which institution to enrol their children and wards. The higher the scores achieved by pupils in their external examinations, the greater the probability of existing parents keeping back their children in the school and prospective parents selecting the school for future enrolment of their children. The strategy for increasing pupil enrolment in these elementary schools therefore lies in improving the result scores obtained by existing pupils. Stellar employee and team performances become imperative if grades must improve. But the problems of this subsector, which militate against the stellar performances required to accomplish the goal of improved examination grades, are many. Key among them is the inappropriate measurement of employees’ performance (Akpa, Udoh, & Fabgamiye, 2005).
Other problems are biased and inappropriate measurement of an employee’s performance, arbitrariness in employee appraisals, inappropriate goal setting and utilization of unqualified raters. All these contribute to the non-attainment of schools’ goals. Many employees, especially teachers, who are unsatisfied often seek better opportunities or redress in rival schools. And this adds to the problem of dwindling pupil enrolment, which remain a major challenge to private elementary schools (Greenberg, 1986). Again, the need for fee-paying private schools to generate income to pay back loans for massive infrastructural development, huge running costs and possibly dividends to investors, makes the attainment of set goals paramount and appropriate measurement of employees’ performances or lack thereof imperative.
Management must therefore come up with ingenious ways to achieve the school’s goals and objectives given these apparent challenges. Greenberg (1986) opines that achievement of goals and objectives must start with the implementation of an efficient performance system. According to Rastogi and Garg (2006), what better way to solve the problem of inappropriate appraisal than to focus on performance management? This can enable proprietors of these private elementary schools, at least, stem the tide of employee disengagements due to perceived unfairness in the arbitrary assessment of their performances.
Performance management (PM) refers to the process of aligning an individual or team goals with those of the organization for the purpose of achieving the organization’s goals. It involves the stating of the vision and mission of the organization, the setting of appropriate goals for the organization, teams and employees as well as strategies to accomplish them. PM also entails the setting up of standards like benchmarks, guidelines of procedure, resources usage and finished products/services to steer employees’ performance and measure employee achievements. Feedback is an integral part of PM. Here, management assessments of employees are relayed to the employees with explanations about the assessment results. Also, employees’ questions are answered and fears allayed. This process ensures fairness and equity (Ogedegbe, 2014).
PM also embraces the effective communication of the appraisals in a manner that motivates rather than demoralizes the employee. Access to supervisors for feedback and coaching as well as rewards for failure to achieve, achieving or surpassing standards are integral parts of performance management. Some organizations have therefore come to the realization that one way to successfully measure employees’ performance is through a well thought out performance management system (Lawlor & Hornyak, 2014). Popular performance management systems utilized by organizations include management by objectives and balanced score card. Using any of these systems, goals are matched with actual achievements, and performance at the individual, team and corporate levels in the organization can be measured appropriately (McNamara, 2007).
The Lagos State non-tertiary education landscape is made up of many public and private schools; from nursery to senior secondary schools. Private elementary and secondary schools make up 57% of all enrolments consisting of 1,408,420 pupils in 12,098 schools. Many of these schools are unregistered and include mostly the small kindergarten school usually operated by a sole proprietor (Harma, 2011). Of these 12,098 private schools in Lagos State, 8,992 are private elementary schools and of this number, 24 are registered with the council of British international schools worldwide (COBIS) to offer the British curriculum education and certification and are located in 6 out of the 20 local governments of Lagos State (AISEN, 2016; COBIS, 2014; and Harma, 2011).
This study intends to focus on performance management and organizational performance of British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State. The researcher intends to highlight the place of performance management in the achievement of the goals of the organization, specifically British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State in the face of high mobility of British-trained teachers and diminishing economic returns. The constituents of the independent variable, performance management, examined in this study are goal setting, training and development, communications and motivation. The dependent variable, organizational performance, will be measured by firm survival and employee satisfaction.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Abdulwahab (2016) avers that the failure of managers to set Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Realistic/Relevant and Timely/Time bound (SMART) goals for their subordinates, contribute in no small measure in scuttling the expectations and desires of individuals and organizations to achieve set objectives or even aspire to industry leadership. When individual and school goals are not set, employees are at a loss about what is expected of them. Such situations give room for guesswork and surely, goals cannot be met under such conditions. The inability to set goals have also robbed schools of the opportunity to receive appropriate standards to work towards, and accurate direction to accomplish tasks. This has led to the inability of schools to achieve desired performance objectives and industry ratings. Failure to set goals therefore result in blurred direction, mediocrity, low industry ratings and reduced income.
Training and development of teachers and support staff is paramount for an educational institution given the fast-changing nature of teaching and learning materials used for instruction and modern techniques for knowledge impartation to pupils (Oyibode, 2015). Most of the training programs for the British curriculum elementary schools involve the engagement of British educators and materials flown into Nigeria from the U.K. Given the diminishing income accruable to these British-curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State, training and development programs suffer serious setbacks. Sometimes, employees experience fewer training courses and at other times, modules are drastically reduced and these adversely affect the ability to acquire skills and competencies required for knowledge and skills impartation to pupils.
Lack of communication or inadequate dissemination of information between supervisors and subordinates give rise to conflict situations and where this subsists, the organization is unable to accomplish its set goals and objectives (Yawe, & Akighir, 2014). The ineffective communication of tasks to be executed by teachers and lack of feedback of completed tasks, make employees feel alienated and unimportant in the scheme of things in the school, indeed giving rise to conflict situations where mutual trust and respect between supervisors and subordinates substitute official decorum. Poor communication therefore obstruct efficiency, decrease innovation, lower consumer rating and eventually, income.
Lack of incentives and other motivation factors reduce the interest and drive of employees to accomplish organizational goals. Organizations fail to decipher what employees respond to with regards to motivation factors, unduly concentrating on the intrinsic aspect of motivation to the detriment of cash payments and perks. The inability of proprietors of British-curriculum elementary schools to meet the Nigerian employees’ demand for increased salaries and allowances to be at par with their expatriate counterparts has given rise to low morale, poor performance, poor products/services, poor customer service and decreased income.
Innovation produces ideas that translate to new products/services or improvement of existing ones. Stagnation is synonymous with organizations lacking in new processes and technology. Untrained employees do not have the solutions to tweak existing products/services or confront the external environment let alone contribute to the growth of the organization. Given the stiff competition in the industry, schools lacking new ideas become redundant and experience loss of business and income.
Lack of adequate rewards for work accomplished reduce the impetus for further work and encourage high employee turnover (Yawe, & Akighir, 2014). The remuneration of expatriate teachers far outstrips those of Nigerian teachers in the British-curriculum elementary schools in Lagos. This breeds discontent, adversely affecting the ability of employees to function as required. Also, biased and unfair appraisal of performance accomplished by employees, create low morale. The schools are of course worse off as teachers are constantly moving to redress these injustices. Lack of rewards therefore, creates low morale, employee dissatisfaction and poor performance resulting in deceased pupil enrolment and diminishing income.
Multi-tasking is a common phenomenon in the world of private elementary schools in Nigeria (Akpa, Udoh, & Fabgamiye, 2015). For the British-curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State, this is especially rife because fewer teachers and other employees are required to take on additional responsibilities, in view of the dearth of quality staff. This gives rise to inadequate appraisal of all the employee’s performances and inaccurate appraisals leave employees disappointed to seek better recognition and compensation elsewhere, leaving their current schools short-staffed and unable to achieve the organization’s goals.
The inability of the schools’ management to provide the platform for employees and supervisors to engage in performance feedbacks contributes in no small measure to a friction-prone work environment (Abdulwahab, 2016). Most schools experience lack of feedback and non-exposure to dialogues, coaching and performance evaluations and these produce discontentment amongst employees on the one hand and rumour mills on the other. These cause damage to the organizational culture and psyche and seriously reduce the chances of increased income and profits.
Low examination scores spell reduced patronage and income for schools, since examination results form the basis on which most enrolment decisions of parents rest (Yawe & Akighir, 2014). Low result scores obtained by pupils give rise to low ratings by the foreign educational supervisory boards and this translates to reduced patronage, shrinking enrolments and finally, reduced income and profits.
Private elementary schools in Lagos State operate in a buyers’ market, where the number of schools far outstrips the number of available pupils (Yawe & Akighir, 2014). Managers are therefore under constant pressure to increase their market share with regards to pupil enrolment. This scenario gives rise to unorthodox methods of increasing pupil intake, for example helping pupils write their online examinations to increase average school scores.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The general objective of this study is to determine the effect of performance management on the organizational performance of British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State. The specific objectives are to:
1. investigate the effect of goal setting on firm survival of British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State;
2. assess the effect of training and development on firm survival of British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State;
3. examine the effect of communication on employee satisfaction of British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State;
4. ascertain the effect of motivation on employee satisfaction of British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State and
5. determine the combined effect of performance management on organizational performance of British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State, Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
To investigate these problems and achieve the set objectives, relevant research questions have been derived and these are:
1. What is the effect of goal setting on firm survival of British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State?
2. What is the effect of training and development on firm survival of British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State?
3. How does communication affect employee satisfaction of British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State?
4. What effect does motivation have on employee satisfaction of British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State and
5. What is the combined effect of performance management on organizational performance of British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State, Nigeria?
Considering the objectives of this study stated above, and the research questions, these Null hypotheses were proposed:
H01: There is no significant effect of goal setting on firm survival of British-curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State.
H02: There is no significant effect of training & development on firm survival of British-curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State.
H03: There is no significant effect of communication on employee satisfaction of British-curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State.
H04: There is no significant effect of motivation on employee satisfaction of British-curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State.
H05: There is no significant effect of performance management on organizational performance of British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study focused on performance management and organizational performance of British curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State and covered the 24 British-curriculum (COBIS) elementary schools operating in Lagos State. These 24 schools are members of the council of British international schools (COBIS), Lagos State chapter.
Data was collected through the administration of a questionnaire which extracted information for the period under review. Sourced from the Administrative offices of the Schools under study, the combined staff strength of the 24 schools as at 19th December 2016 stood at 3,458. The study focused on the senior academic and non-academic (administrative) members of staff of the 24 schools, which stood at 1,572 as at 19th December 2016. This population was targeted because the performance management function of this group is of critical importance to most organizations’ quest for attainment of their goals. The sample size for the study is 305 which was arrived at by using the formula developed by Krejcie & Morgan (1970) and shown in the relevant heading in chapter three.
1.7 Significance of the Study
It is expected that when this study is concluded, the results derived would uncover reasons why organizations in general and British-curriculum elementary schools in Lagos State, in particular, do not attain set objectives and seek for ways on how performance management can improve this position. This study is expected to impact positively on the following areas:
The management of educational organizations would find this research work very useful in designing performance management systems that would engage employees and teams to offer performances that would enhance the organization’s overall performance.
The stakeholders in the educational sector would find this research work an important reference material to be utilized when making decisions concerning performance manage systems and organizational performance. The turnover of teachers experienced in the industry, especially professionals seeking greener pastures outside the industry will be abated. An enhanced knowledge of the workings of performance management and their impact on organizational performance would be embraced by the industry to enable professionals contribute their best to the industry. This research project would also constitute an important body of knowledge for students and potential proprietors of private elementary schools in Nigeria in general and Lagos State in particular, especially those seeking to operate the British curriculum.
1.7.3 Regulatory Authorities
The significance of this study to all tiers of government include the assurance of a workforce that not only produce the best pupils that would assume leadership roles in the future, but also socially responsible organizations that contribute to good governance, compliance to laws and provision of steady income to government coffers.
1.7.4 The general society
The society benefits from this study as pupils get the best out of the educational system, given that better performance management systems ensure employees perform better towards the attainment of organizational goals. Confidence in the educational system is assured and parents would keep their children in the Nigerian school system instead of shipping them abroad or even to Ghana. Also, better educated pupils contribute better to the development of the society.
1.8 Operationalization of Variables
Independent variable (X) = Performance Management (PM)
Y = f (X)
X = (x1, x2, x3, x4)
x1 = Goal Setting (GS)
x2 = Training and Development(TD)
x3 = Communication (COM)
x4 = Motivation (MOT)
Dependent variable (Y) = Organizational Performance (OP)
Y = f(y)
Y = (y1, y2)
y1 = Firm survival (FS)
y2 = Employee satisfaction (ES)
y1 = f (x1) ......................................................................Equation 1
y1 = f (x2) ......................................................................Equation 2
y2 = f (x3).......................................................................Equation 3
y2 = f (x4).......................................................................Equation 4
Y = f (x1, x2, x3, x4)..........................................................Equation 5
H01 y1 = α0 + β1x1 + µ...............................................Equation 1
H02 y1 = α0 + β2x2 + µ………………………….......Equation 2
H03 y2 = α0 + β3x3 + µ...............................................Equation 3
H04 y2 = α0 + β4x4 + µ...............................................Equation 4
H05 Y = α0+ β1 x1 + β2 x2 + β3 x3 +β4 x4 + µ………Equation 5
Y = Dependent variable (Organizational performance)
y1 – y2 = Components of the dependent variable, Y
α0 = Constant of the equation
β1 – β4= Coefficient of the independent variables
x1 – x4 = Components of the independent variable, X
µ = Error that account for change but are not part of the survey at present
The above signify the working equations for this model
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